Course studied: BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
Graduating year: 2014
Job: Trainee Geography Teacher
Nicole Craig graduated from Bath Spa University in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science. She is currently training to be a geography teacher.
Nicole's undergraduate experience
The skills you develop at university are priceless. Whether it be meeting deadlines, delivering presentations in seminars or writing assignments they all help you in the working world. The skills and personal traits I obtained from my time at Bath Spa, which I now use at work include time management, presenting, team work, independent work, communication skills, creating professional posters, delivering content with passion and enthusiasm……the list is endless!
"Do not underestimate how much of an impact the tutors make, comedy helps you remember things."
What have you done since graduating from Bath Spa?
Since graduating from Bath Spa I was offered a job as a Cover Supervisor at a local (to home in West Yorkshire) OFSTED outstanding school which I did for a year. During the year I covered a 4 month leave of absence for a geography teacher where I planned, delivered and completed all data sets for all her classes- ranging from years 7- 10. From this I was offered an assessment only route into secondary geography teaching through the school where I would be paid a full time salary and they would pay for me to complete my teacher training. This offer was too good to turn down and so I withdrew my acceptance on a PGCE. Many of the skills I use in terms of organisation, presenting and people skills I developed during my course at Bath Spa and through my role as duty manager of a hotel which ran alongside my studies.
What is your current job?
In my current role as a trainee geography teacher I am currently involved in the development of the curriculum and working alongside other department members to adapt and update resources in order to increase student participation and diversify lessons. I am the lead teacher for 8 classes including two GCSE classes. My job involves planning lessons, delivering them at an outstanding level, creating resources, marking classwork and devising useful and challenging homework to allow students to progress. From this I then complete data tracking and liaise with people at home and within the school to ensure all students are meeting their potential. Alongside this I also participate in CPD and I am completing my EPS and “Outstanding Teaching Module” as part of my training.
Typical day in the current job...
A typical day for me is teaching 4 lessons (out of a possible 5), using my break to set up for my lovely and extremely keen year 7 classes, who appear to not want a break as they spend it in my classroom for some reason, and then running round at lunch chasing students who may owe me work or have requested to spend time with me to complete additional work. Despite the crazy working days I have I love my job! Teaching is so rewarding and seeing the students leave my classroom happy and producing high quality work is such an amazing feeling, knowing that I have made a difference and maybe encouraged them to continue with the subject at GCSE is incredible.
Most favourite part of your current job?
The favourite part of my job is when a student who may not necessarily be the most able within the subject leaves the classroom positive and has completed amazing work and is proud of their achievement. The relationships you build with students allows you to see past the odd bit of bad behaviour and realise that they are far more than just a statistic or a grade, they are all individuals and bring something to your lessons.
...least favourite part?
The lack of a social life is a killer! No matter how rewarding the job is, teaching is definitely a different way of life. Yes I work 8.30-3.10 on paper but it never stops. The constant emails, the planning and marking is so time consuming that half terms aren’t a time to relax but instead are consumed by preparation for the next half term. Down time is rare and precious- it is not for the faint hearted.
Best experience/memory of your time at Bath Spa?
Without a doubt graduation was my best memory. It was such an overwhelming and surprisingly emotional day where I was alongside all the other students and tutors, who made my time there so memorable, for the very last time. The entire 3 years within the Environmental Science and Biology groups were hilarious. Do not underestimate how much of an impact the tutors make, comedy helps you remember things. I spent most of my exams trying not to laugh recalling how they delivered or jokes they made relating to the questions.
Top tip(s)/advice for current BSU Biologists/Environmental Scientists?
Make the most of it! Whilst the pressure is on to do well at university make sure you enjoy your time there because it goes so fast- I only graduated last year and it feels like a lifetime ago. I definitely regret not making more memories at university because all I did was work (university and paid).